The Eastern Magistrates’ Court in Hong Kong. Photo: Google Maps

A 32-year-old Filipina domestic worker was sent to prison for four weeks by the Eastern Magistrates’ Court on Monday for stealing two gold rings from her employer.

Johara Nalam, who came to Hong Kong in January 2016, pleaded guilty to two counts of theft and was immediately sentenced, reported. The court heard she stole the rings separately in September and October last year and pawned them for HK$1,600 (US$203).

The thefts came to light on Christmas Day last year, before the defendant left for a holiday in the Philippines. When her male employer, a British company director living in an apartment on Hatton Road in Mid-Levels on Hong Kong Island, checked the defendant’s luggage before she left, he found a pawnshop receipt issued by Shing Fung Pawnshop in Eurotrade Centre in Central. Being suspicious, he kept the receipt.

When the defendant returned from Manila, the employer took her to the pawnshop to redeem the ring for HK$1,140. He inspected the ring and realized it was his, so he and the woman went to Wanchai police where he reported the theft.

She admitted to police that she took the ring in October. Officers later searched the employer’s house and found another receipt issued by the same pawnshop where another gold ring was recovered. The second ring also belonged to the employer. He retrieved the ring for HK$900.

During mitigation, the defense counsel said the defendant was single and came to Hong Kong as a domestic worker earning $4,210 a month, however, no explanation was offered as to why she stole the rings.

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